Kool and the Gang are coming to Tawo

Kool and the Gang!

Yes that musical brotherhood that encapsulates my childhood and wonderful memories are coming to Tawo.

So, Kool and the Gang are coming to Africa, specifically on November 12th 2016, they will be in Kampala, Uganda.

Under normal circumstances I would have gone to see them.

I made some errors of judgement vis a vie money. I lent several people money with a promise that I will get paid on 31st October 2016. It didn’t happen and they are not returning my calls. I feel very deflated and having been warned not to do it. I went on and did it. I went on and lent money.

So, I will miss Kool and the Gang.

I will not be around breathing the same air they are breathing.

I will not see and hear the sounds of my youth like

‘Get Down on It’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qchPLaiKocI

‘Ladies Night’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLnUJQut-kc

I guess that is what life is about. If you are given lemons make lemonade out of the situation.

This is Uganda and welcome to Africa. Try and fit in so says Mother.

kool-and-the-gang

Source: https://signedevents.com/uganda/kampala/kool-the-gang-live-in-ug/

 

 

Money: What I discovered?

What I discovered with my return, the concept of money vis a vie the host citizens is different. It is this difference that comes with a lot of responsibility. This is because we have not yet understood the money back home. In our minds, we are spending as though we are still overseas. This disparity stands out markedly when we do not bargain for products we are buying. The sellers notice this cue and when they see you charge you exorbitantly. The same happens with services life car mechanics. They charge you an arm and a leg for the very basics. If you are not around they either put in older parts or don’t remove the parts but still charge you for new parts and labour.

It is a buyers beware place. As most of the economy is basically a cash economy it behoves of returnees to be extra vigilant because the money one has come with can go so fast. Being in the host country and broke is such an unpleasant place to be such that many do return to the countries they resided in prior to the journey back to the motherland. Their comfort creatures are many and they understand the system in order to survive.

The survival rate in a cash economy is enormous. This is because everyone demands of you of money in one way or another. The ability to stretch your shilling to give some of it away and still be able to live is an art in and of itself.

I have been advised that if I am to lend any money then make sure you are willing to lose it. Peeps in the host country will not pay you back because they too feel that they need to enjoy the fruits of your labour from overseas.

The orderly and organized way in which many from overseas (outside countries) get their pay can be a very daunting task when that orderly fashion ceases to be the order of the day. In the cash economies, like the one I find myself in, the local denominations are misleading and very dangerous because of the loads of wads we end up having in our wallets and pockets.

The need for budgeting is crucial without which, finding one self in a financial nightmare is a sure thing. Living in a cash economy is stressful enough one should try by all means possible to avoid the financial nightmares.

With the distress in the economy coupled with the long sunny period hence no rainy season to help with agriculture growing, money is scarce and word about the R word – recession is becoming the new normal.

In other words we are headed for some turbulent times as money goes walkies and doesn’t stay long in our wallets.

money-703x422

source:http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1438732/uganda-improves-business-ranking

Volunteer

via Daily Prompt: Volunteer

 

To Volunteer or not to volunteer

When I was in University, I got introduced to Volunteering. You see as an international student my background didn’t have any form of volunteering.

Therefore, I took it up with gusto and took up all kinds of activities from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) jailathon in the city of Honolulu and then the student activities as well.

What I found out, is that volunteerism has a steeped culture within the American society. And also one was not doing it to get paid but rather for the altruism of helping someone else. So when this other volunteer gig came along I was confronted with altruism of being paid.

The gig was for medical research and they needed a certain type of person, age group and social background to which all fit me. Well I was to be paid after all the medical trials are done.

I grappled with the idea of being paid but when I spoke with the medical staff I was informed that it is customary that any Pharmaceutical company that does any drug trials does reimburse the volunteers. So there is nothing to be worried about and also you are going to help many people world over from the results of the drug trials.

And so I took part. I made many friends in the process and also learned a number of things about myself most especially discipline.

One is not supposed to eat or drink after a certain time.

One week were supposed to be in-house at the drug trial facility

On other times we had to be at the drug trial facility only on weekends (That meant bye-bye to dating and hanging out with friends).

Was it worth it? Yes, it was both financially and also finding out more of myself with what I can do and also not do.

To Volunteer or not to volunteer turned out to be the most rewarding moment in my university life.

 

 

 

Dust aka Powder

The Powder:

One of the issues one faces when back home is the pollution of all sorts from noise pollution to sight pollution. This blog is talking about one pollution that really, really disturbs me a great deal. It is dust. In the local parlance it is called powder.

It permeates everything and cakes everything.  As a returnee it is clear that using the Boda Bodas does leave traces of powder all over the shoes and lower parts of the pants.

The cleanliness or lack thereof of a person is perceived by the powder(dust) on one’s shoes.

A lot of the discussion about powder in Kampala City and its surroundings is negative because in all honesty it is pollution of sorts. It causes discomfort through constant coughing, washing and dry cleaning of clothes, women doing their hair weekly and sinus issues.

dusty-road

Source: http://67.media.tumblr.com/f7def362736e2df533c9b623dba526f0/tumblr_nj0ypwoVXx1taw7tlo1_1280.jpg

On the other hand, there is a bright light in all this powder situation it has created employment for the many car washing bays that exist in an around the city.

One of the best smells vis a vie the powder, it is when it is about to rain and the first drizzle hits the roads before the heavy downpour. That smell to me signifies relief. Relief from the constant barrage of powder(dust). Relief that our clothes, hair, food and well-being will be dust free for as long as it rains. Oh what a relief it is more so with the sound of the rain. This is epic.

In regards to plants I wonder how photosynthesis happens when the leaves are covered with the powder. Do we get the right process as the leaves need sun light to carry out photosynthesis? Do we get the fruits or plants as they should look like?

Photosynthesis according to Live Science is ‘Photosynthesis is the process used by plants, algae and certain bacteria to harness energy from sunlight into chemical energy. There are two types of photosynthetic processes: oxygenic photosynthesis and anoxygenic photosynthesis. Oxygenic photosynthesis is the most common and is seen in plants, algae and cyanobacteria.’

http://www.livescience.com/51720-photosynthesis.html

I am no expert on such matters but the photo below does show a banana that looks sickly to me as it lacks it proper lustre and definition.

powder-on-banana-leaves

source: https://theglobalnomadlive.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/powder-on-banana-leaves.jpeg

I wonder what other ailments befall us because of the powder that we will in later years’ attribute as the causes of the powder (dust pollution).

When I wake up and get that ample dose of powder I say to myself Welcome home Brotherman. Welcome home.

 

Dating: Ugandan Style continued

To Tip or not To Tip

The other aspect of dating that threw me off guard totally is tipping.

The simple gesture of gratitude for services rendered, tipping in other words, is loaded with mine field repercussions in Kampala city.

Yes, I use tipping as a form of litmus test for the ladies I date. If they are for it then she’s my type. If they are against it then I am going to move on and avoid future clashes of opinion about yes, you got it tipping.

In establishments that are well known brand names tipping is not a must nor is it one the service bill(receipt) you can tip according to the way you feel after the service, However, in the local establishments tipping means totally a different proposition.

My rule of thumb to tip it is 10% of the bill. Now most establishments in Kampala do not add that service charge on the bill(receipt).

When my friends sat me down to explain the pros and cons of tipping in Kampala City I was left in shock. I am made to understand that if I tip any waitress that is not working within the brand name establishments, places like Sheraton, Hilton or Serena Hotels then chances are that the waitress that has received my tip will feel obliged to return the favour on my ‘investment’.  It is the way that many men use this method of investment to get sexual favours. When I heard this I couldn’t believe that such a gesture could be construed too mean loads of other things you know.

Honestly, dating in Kampala is an expensive affair but it is loaded with mine fields of innuendos that one needs to understand before going out. I would not want to end up in the jail-house or at the end of a barrage of fists because of innocent actions taken by me without really understanding that they can cause some serious repercussions.

Dating in Kampala has its adventurous side of things as well. I found myself on the road on this high speed Boda Boda whizzing me from one place to the next with babe I am dating sitting in front of me and the Boda Boda guy in front of her. Making that three of us on this Boda Boda. The wind that was blowing in my face and hair really brought it back to me. I am on a date with this babe on a Boda Boda. I do not have to worry about the tipping or not to tip issues I am enjoying myself and the babe is leaning back into me. The warmth I got from such an innocent but real act of her leaning into me made the ride all the much better. What a way to enjoy the closeness of another person without it being lewd in a sense but very wholesome.

Only in Kampala City!

img_1526

source: Google

Dating: Ugandan Style

speed-dating-uganda

source: http://proggie.ug/events/lets-mingle-uganda-speed-dating/

Women:

In Ug, love is equated with how much you spend on a girl. The more you spend on her the more she feels and knows that you care for her and love her. This is what I was told by the second girl I went out on a date.

This is a very new concept to me. As a returnee that wants to make sure that each dime lasts I find dating an extremely expensive affair that is only one way. By this I mean me spending, spending with nothing to show for it but a terrible bank balance. Welcome to Africa I have been told many a time. I seriously need to find a solution around this issue.

Having said that, the ratio of women to men in Uganda is high. They are extremely beautiful. The word ugly doesn’t exist in the lexicon vis a vie Ugandan women.

They look good and carry themselves with aplomb and stature.

Everywhere you look you see beauty in abundance. With this beauty comes caution, namely be careful these beautiful ladies a number of them are HIV positive and the ARV’s are making them look good.

These women don’t want you they want your money. Once it is gone you are gone too.

These beauties have many more men you are like one in 10 that she’s seeing.

I am yet to hear something positive. It is as if the women folk are a different specie to us men folk. There’s nothing that they do right except look a whole lot hot and beautiful.

Hot Cake:

It took me awhile to realize that my friend was referring to me. You see I had been advised that as a returnee and looking around for a partner I need to be aware of the following.

Just keep the correct company and you will be fine. Remember that you are a hot cake.

Be very cautious with our young ladies. Everything is about money here and we are talking big bucks. Also a golden man (meaning one in his fifties) is going to watch out what generation you target for a wife!

But there are some older not married ladies in our circles who would make good wives and give you peace of mind. By the time I got this advice I had already dated two ladies and I had spent some money on them. Their demands of what they needed from me varied from a new Smart phone, to a new wardrobe of clothes, to starting a new business a chain of Pharmacies, transport to and from work and the clincher I love you we can start a family together.

To me I took this as aggressive marketing right. However, when I was describing this to a friend I was reliably informed that it is desperation and returnees are seen as the glimmer of hope that will ease their predicament.

How then can one avoid such ladies?

The kind that milk you dry and professing to love you

I am told that it is the passage of time and that one has to go through such ladies in the dating game before you find the one.

The one, not the one to marry or be your partner, rather the one that will swipe you clean, professing her love for you, promising you a baby and then you would have evolved into a true returnee. I didn’t like what I was hearing and I made my views known. I had to short change this process immediately and I didn’t know how but I sure wasn’t going to be wiped clean. I couldn’t afford it financially nor could I afford it sanity wise.

The thing returnees have to undergo in the process of being immersed in the host country culture can be intimidating to say the least.

The more I paid more attention to the women folk the scarier I got.

Advice given was scary.

The caution given was scary.

Even fellow women spoke about their fellow ladies in such a way that I was left more petrified to say the least.

How then can one avoid such ladies?

I don’t know. But this much I know. I am not going to fall victim of them ladies that milk me dry.

babe-africa

source: Google.com

To Be Continued….

 

Graceful:With pomp and aplomb

via Daily Prompt: Graceful

The pomp and aplomb she carried herself was so graceful that I had to stop my car and watch her walk.

The grace in each step showed the purpose and deliberation of an intended desire and decision.

The lady had to be at some place within a definite time and her walk was so oo gracious.

Captured with her beauty I thought I was the only one watching this marvel. To my astonishment there were a number of us watching the same lady.

They don’t make them as they used too said one of the onlookers. I didn’t want to be disturbed with my gaze. You don’t often see such graciousness all at one go.

Thank God for Woman

graceful

source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/07/11/graceful-in-the-lions-den-photo-of-young-womans-arrest-in-baton-rouge-goes-viral/

Daily Prompt: Test

via Daily Prompt: Test

The test in my resolve came right after she stopped communicating to me.

I was reminded of the article I read that goes something like this:

‘God by taking me through all this I know there’s something you are trying to teach me and I’m willing to learn.’

I am going through this test of silence treatment and I don’t know how to handle it

She’s my love

She’s my future & present

She’s gonna be my wife

She’s gonna be the mother of my Bambinos

I professed to her that I luv her

I professed to her that I will marry her

I am not too sure how much all this has led to her silence & quagmire

Life is amazing that way

africanus

source: https://twitter.com/hashtag/mysistarskeeper

 

Friends that make the world go around

Love…Love…Love

And so the day begun like any other but with the rigmarole that surrounds life.

Sun was seeping through the cracks and hints of warmth, despite the dreary insides, promised a new day.

As the clock ticked on and on and the snooze button having been hit a couple of times, it was about time, to get up and face the world.

Brushing my teeth and looking in the mirror I had to convince myself that I am who I am even if others do not think so. I had to motivate myself with all the propensity that I could muster to take on the world. You see I had been told by someone I really and truly love that she was no longer in love with me. All my postulations about the luv I had for the said lady vanished in thin air. The cool and calm way I was told that it is over felt like a hot knife slicing through butter. It was gut wrenching, confusing, debilitating and above all else my world just stopped.

When I fell in love there was a lot that really went on within the body. From the chemistry, to the hormonal imbalance that led to a natural high. Therefore, when, the object of my desire said that I am no longer in love and do not want anything to do with you, my self-esteem takes a major thrashing and I questioned myself till the cows came home.

You see I had heard that love conquers all and in the end the winner takes all. I had also heard that all is fair in love and war. To me all these schisms meant nothing to me at the end of the day.

I can understand that love of a parent and a child.

I hadn’t understood the consequences of love between a woman & a man until I faced a heartbreak.

I could not eat and yet I did not get hungry

I could not sleep my normal 6 hours and yet I was neither tired nor sleepy during the day

I put a lot of effort and emphasis into my running and martial arts. In fact, I looked forward to the two things.

At work I was like a zombie. I was neither here or there. I was on autopilot. The good thing was that I worked the graveyard shift (night shift). As I didn’t have that many distractions at work with my mind, it became a breeze.

The only issue I faced was that when I woke up I thought about the lady. Before I slept I thought about the lady. It was then I realized this is what love really feels like when it is no more.

Friendships that make the world go around

In my state of utter confusion, I resorted to ask friends for help. They responded well and came to my rescue with all kinds of advice some were extremely practical like go to this website and read. Others their advice was way beyond the level I was at in that I had passed the many levels of grieving, sorrow, anger and the like.

These two links though helped me a great deal.

The one link I was given to read that I found extremely helpful in my healing was www.psychologytoday.com/blog/me-we/201406/the-7-stages-grieving-breakup.

The other one was http://www.2knowmyself.com/10_ways_to_get_over_a_breakup_fast

The actual show of friendship that I really appreciated and helped me immensely to solidify my bond was the friend that invited me to his home for the entire weekend. Fed me, housed me, we drunk together to the wee hours of the morning and it was cathartic to say the least.

You see the lady has been my first love. I have gone out with many ladies prior to this nevertheless, she has been my first love.

The ideal was to marry the lady in 2016. But this will not happen because she married someone else.

A lot of questions arose and they still do.

I met the lady through a mutual acquaintance and the talking ensued. We talked and talked. We then met. She was a tall, brown, beautiful African lady, curvaceous and vivacious. It was the voice that got me on the phone however, on meeting her, the smile got me. We had a blast and in the process of knowing each other I realized this the one the I would like to marry. The more I was around her I did tell her that I would like to marry her, and the guy that I am I even set up a timeline of when and how it will all happen. As things tend to happen I fell for the lady and it felt so good. At last I could clearly feel what it means to be in love with another human being not a child nor a parent.

The year moved by pretty slowly as we grew to know and understand each other. The disparity in distance was cut short by technology. We both lived on two different continents. Therefore, the use of Skype, WhatsApp and WhatsApp phone really brought the distance down to a minimum. It was the best year in regards to love and romance. That is why when it ended the heartbreak was humongous, paralyzing and left me with more questions than answers.

I had to pick up the pieces and move.

Prior to meeting the lady, I was extremely guarded and made sure that it had to be the right one to let go and fall. Fall in love that is.

Love hasn’t worked out for me. The feeling is so good but I am not going that route again. Once bitten twice shy. The heartbreak has really messed me up big time. I have been advised that I will outlive my first heartbreak. In the meantime, I want to relax and let me go through all the motions of the heartbreak after all never say never.

Love…Love…Love

my-love-for-you

Source: https://twitter.com/odhiambostanley

 

Diamond Head

Diamond Head is a crater like formation in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. According to Wikipedia it is a volcanic tuff cone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_Head,_Hawaii

To me it resembled and felt like a crater.  I had never visited the place the entire time I lived on Oahu which ended up being 7 years. When I went for a visit the hike up Diamond Head became my only form of work out. The natural air, the wind in my hair and face, the bus ride to Kapiolani Community College, then the walk up to Diamond Head proper before one started to hike up the crater.

Hike

I hiked up that crater three times a week. It was good for my heart rate.

diamond-head-views

source:http://www.best-of-oahu.com/diamond-head-trail.html

Good for my sweat glands. Good for my walking step counts. Good for the beauty once you got to the head of Diamond Head. The view picturesque as you saw the entire Honolulu down-town, parts of Waikiki and the surf.

The hike is unique because it has dark tunnels, open trails, hikes up many stairs right before you get to the summit to see the breath-taking view of Honolulu City. If you ever do visit Honolulu or Waikiki I do suggest a hike up the Diamond Head trail.

It is good for the heart, soul, beauty and it is therapeutic. This is because of the picturesque views as well as being on top of one of the youngest volcanic set of Hawaii Islands.